SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Beginning May 1, patrons of the South Plainfield Public Library will have access to additional services and catalogs from dozens of libraries throughout the state through a partnership with the Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium (LMxAC).
“We are excited about joining LMxAC and are confident that, in the long run, this change will be a big improvement for everyone,” said Linda Hansen, director of the South Plainfield Public Library.
“I think it opens up a lot more services to our patrons; they will have access to a lot of libraries plus so many digital services,” said Eve Pasternak, technical services librarian at South Plainfield. “These are all things we would love to provide and, now, by being part of the group, we are able to do so at a savings. We will be offering more and spending less.”
The partnership with LMxAC will replace the library’s current circulation system with Innovative Interfaces at a more than 50-percent cost savings; currently, South Plainfield pays $92,000 per year to Innovative Interfaces for their Integrated Library System (ILS). With LMxAC, the fee will be $37,000 annually.
“Working together as a group is much more beneficial,” added Pasternak. “We will be cost sharing across all these libraries and providing more.”
“LMxAC's mission is to provide our members with cost effective technology services that expand the reach of an individual library far beyond its walls. South Plainfield is a welcome addition to our membership and we look forward to providing their library patrons with the very best of library services,” said Eileen Palmer, executive director of LMxAC, adding, “We are delighted to have South Plainfield join LMxAC…”
Through LMxAC, South Plainfield cardholders will have access to the online catalogs of 30-plus member libraries in Middlesex, Union, and Monmouth counties. “Our combined catalog of library holdings includes 3.2 million copies - 1.1 million titles [and] library patrons can easily place titles on hold to be filled by their local library, or delivered to their local library from another member library,” said Palmer. “Patrons can also use their library card at any of our member libraries - 31 public libraries and the library at Middlesex County College.”
South Plainfield patrons will also be able to access the consortium’s mobile app, LMxPRESS Plus, which allows them to place holds and renew library materials using a cell phone or tablet. Through the app, cardholders can also check their accounts and browse library catalogs as well as pay fines online with a credit card. Additionally, through LMxAC, library patrons will have access to Zinio, a database with over 100 online magazines such as the Economist, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitanand US Weeklyas well as Hoopla, a free service for borrowing audiobooks, ebooks, movies, music, TV shows, comics and more.
According to Hansen, cardholders will continue to log-into their accounts through the South Plainfield website. There, they will be able to access the LMxAC catalog where patrons will be able to request materials from across the system and have them sent to South Plainfield Library for pick up.
From now until the May 1 changeover, patrons should continue using the library’s current online system as usual, however, to ensure that patrons do not lose any of the saved lists they have in their account, LMxAC suggests downloading a copy prior to switchover. Simply log in to your account and open ‘My lists’ and, after selecting the desired list, click ‘Export List.’ Users will be able to choose the format they wish to download in as well as select whether to print or download the list or have it emailed. Please note: LMxAC blocks borrowing after you have accumulated $10 in fines, however you may wait until May 1 to pay online with a credit card.
“I think our patrons will really enjoy being able to access all of the materials and services that this transition will afford them,” Hansen said.
LMxAC, which was formed in 1986, is a nonprofit membership organization providing a wide range of services to its member libraries. According to the website(https://www.lmxac.org/info/), the primary purpose of the consortium is to operate a shared automation system for its members and to promote all aspects of cooperative automated projects and resource sharing so that a higher quality of library services will be provided to residents within our service area.
LMxAC develops, maintains and provides technological expertise; offers affordable, cost effective services to its member libraries; supports additional value-added services in the areas of collection development, continuing education for staff and trustees, marketing, consulting, and state and national library advocacy.
For more information on LMxAC, visit https://www.lmxac.org/info/. To view the complete list of LMxAC member libraries, visit https://www.lmxac.org/info/member-libraries/; to learn more about Hoopla, visit https://explorelmxac.org/hoopla; and for information about the magazines available, check out https://www.rbdigital.com/lmxac/service/magazines/landing.
TAPinto South Plainfield is South Plainfield’s only free daily paper. Sign up to get all the news as it happens at www.TAPinto.net/enews and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SouthPlainfieldTAP/ and on Twitter at @SoplainfieldTAP.